Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) president Mac Chavalala says the African National Congress (ANC) led government no longer has the best interest of the working class.
Chavalala addressed members of the trade union’s affiliates during Workers Day celebration at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo.
He has accused government of creating labour laws which are unfavourable to workers.
“Labour law reforms are actually implemented to work against the working class. In other words, making things difficult for workers to strike and to exercise their right. There are threats over AMCU, to deregister AMCU. As SAFTU we are against any form of attack on workers and workers rights. Labour brokers are still happening in South Africa,” says Chavalala.
Workers in SA not united
SAFTU says employers continue to oppress employees because workers in the country aren’t united. SAFTU’s Secretary-General Zwelinzima Vavi says many workers were exploited even on workers’ day and weren’t given time off.
Addressing thousands of union members in Durban, they painted the Central business district red. Vavi accused employers of not paying workers the minimum wage.
He lashed out at government for not addressing the plight of the workers. Vavi also called for unity in the labour movement and warned that the well-being of workers is being compromised by divisions among them.
“One of the things we want to deliver during this May Day celebration is the theme of unity, or organising, of mobilising, of recruiting workers as to join unions to build solidarity amongst themselves in each and every workplace and across all the sectors of the economy so that they can be heard again as a worker’s voice in our country.”
Meanwhile the Socialist Revolutionary Worker’s Party says it has received SAFTU’s blessing to form a worker’s party.
But Vavi disputes these claims.
The federation also called for workers to embark on a two-day national shutdown on a date still to be announced.